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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jan 6, 2011 4:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Instruments falling under the miscellaneous category have long played a part of the Grateful Dead's music, often significantly contributing to the sound and ambiance of their music.

The Guiro was used a great deal during the performances of Dark Star during 1969-70. Perhaps the best example of Guiro play is on the extraordinary Dark Star of 9/19/70. Would that be Pig playing the Guiro or one of the drummers?

http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-09-19.sbd.kaplan.5217.sbeok.shnf

Mickey sure loved his toys, particularly the massive Taiwanese gong he recieved as a gift from Avedis Zildjian. It ended up mounted on a stanchion that Ram Rod stole from a gas station. The classic 6/24/70 Port Chester performance is an excellent example of Mickey's Gong play. Check the astonishing Gong segment during Dark Star starting at about 8:00...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf

Chimes were utilized at various times during the early years, particularly during Dark Star. Again, I'm not sure who the musician is, but I have always loved the beautiful Chimes passage during the 1/2/70 Dark Star starting at about 8:20...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-01-02.partial-early.sbd.86.sbefail.shnf

And of course Pigpen? was pretty good with the Maracas, particularly during the early 1968 performances of Spanish Jam, creating tension by simulating a pit filled with rattlesnakes. One such example is the amazing 1/22/68 rendition...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-22.sbd.miller.97342.sbeok.flac16

I'm not very knowledgable about this subject but I think these and various other devices were commonly used throughout the bands history, even or perhaps especially during the later years. At differing times one can hear, Cabasas, Castanets, Claves, Crickets, Crotales, Blocks, Beaters, Bells, Whistles, Train Horns, Kazoos, Cannons, Tambourines, Triangles and a multitude of other devices. Tom Contsanten contributed many unusual sounds with his Prepared Piano, and of course Mickey always seemed to use a veritable ensemble of different precussion instruments such as a Caisa, Hang, Mridangam, Steel Pan, Bowls, Timpani, Tabla, etc, etc.

Please share your thoughts and observations about the Grateful Dead's use of these and other assorted miscellaneous instruments and devices. Perhaps you can note some of your favorite examples of this music from any of the periods?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 6, 2011 9:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

That 6/24/70 is also unique in that Jerry announces before Dark Star that the band has to wait for Mickey to get his gong ready!

I thought there was a thread recently on the best 'shot' in St Stephen - couldn't find it, but did uncover this little thread on Mickey's little cannon:
http://www.archive.org/post/301726/mickey-harts-canon
They didn't use the cannon all the time, I think sometimes Pigpen had a starter pistol?

I'm uncertain whether Pigpen played any percussion in Dark Star, at any time.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Jan 6, 2011 5:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Great post, Cliff!

I bet they had a trunks full of this kind of stuff...

From one of my favorite Dark Stars... http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-08-01.sbd.sirmick.patch-12222.92478.sbeok.flac16

The random percussion comes, I assume, from Billy, after the verse.

Noah Wiener (?) calls them chimes and thumb piano (http://www.deadlistening.com/2008/04/1973-august-1-roosevelt-stadium.html)... not too sure but its wonderful. Gives the jam an innocent child-like, rolling in the crib quality while the band is exploring a darker theme.

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Poster: nwgj Date: Jan 6, 2011 5:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-11-08.aud.weiner.28609.sbeok.shnf

Starting at 5:45 there's a glockenspiel that gets going before the verse, then plays the vocal melody along with Jerry, kinda like the "lady finger" bridge in St. Stephen. I can't think of another time they did this, but surely there must be some? Also, the space after the verse also has what (I assume) might be bird calls about 9 min in, and that glockenspiel pops up again as they're transitioning back into the DS jam.

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Jan 6, 2011 6:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Light into Ashes said that tinkling of bells he thought was Mickey on Glockenspiel was actually Ned Lagin on Clavichord.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 6, 2011 9:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Funnily enough, Lagin did claim he was also a guest at those November '70 Port Chester shows. I'm not so sure, though - in any case, I believe the glockenspiel would be Mickey's instrument, not Lagin's.
1970 seems to be when the Dead used the widest arsenal of sounds in Dark Star, but Lagin did add that nice clavichord part on 2/18/71, and a (much quieter) keyboard contribution on 4/5/71.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jan 6, 2011 6:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Ned Lagin? Seems unlikely, he claims that 11/21/70 was the first time that he sat in with the Grateful Dead. But I can't hear him...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-11-21.sbd.cotsman.17033.sbeok.shnf

Sure sounds like a Glock to me...

This post was modified by Cliff Hucker on 2011-01-07 02:55:07

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Jan 6, 2011 7:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

My bad. You're right. I was recalling from memory. It was 1971 where Ned Plays the clav. It was the Glock in 1970, sans Lagin.

This post was modified by DeadRed1971 on 2011-01-07 03:02:42

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jan 6, 2011 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

how 'bout the live crickets mickey had on stage during the 8/13/75 (OFTV) Blues for Allah? really helps gives that version a interesting, "nighttime in Arabia" feel.

got to be one of the more interesting "instruments" the Dead used...

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Jan 6, 2011 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

From LiA on 2/18/71:

The Dead were in high spirits for this show, the first in a long run at one of their favorite places, the Capitol Theater. They even brought multitrack recording equipment to catch any moments of magic that might arise. The first Dark Star of '71 is one of the most unusual - for starters, it's the only Star with Mickey Hart, and the last time we'll hear him playing that guiro (or 'scratcher') in the intro jam.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 6, 2011 8:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Not sure it counts, since guests, but didn't Airto and Flora bring in some weird stuff at the Greek one year? I recall being there but vague on details. It all truly does melt...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 7, 2011 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Guiros, Gongs, Maracas, Chimes and Other Assorted Instruments?

Airto on the Dear Prudence jam into drums,

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1991-12-30.sbd.miller.32574.sbeok.flac16